Monday, September 19, 2011

Sauteed Greens

One of my favorite stalls at the farmers' market behind the Museum of Natural History is 5 lbs of Dirt Farm.  5 lbs of Dirt is a small farm in the Hudson Valley that grows (in my opinion) some of the best lettuces, greens and other veggies that I have ever seen.  Just look at their pictures on Facebook.  They are absolutely beautiful.  I have been eying what they call "big mix" for awhile now and I decided on Sunday to go ahead and buy half a pound.  One of the ladies there assured me that it is her favorite of the greens.  She eats it raw, but said that it would be delicious sauteed.  I'm not sure exactly what is in big mix, but it looked (and tasted) like Swiss chard, kale, mustard greens, tatsoi, arugula, spinach and various crazy looking lettuces/greens.  I have no idea what some of them are.  If I had been thinking ahead I would have taken some pictures of the greens before and after cooking them so you could get a sense of what exactly was in the "big mix."  But if you're that interested, pop on over to their Facebook page where they have several pages of it.

This recipe was a nice foil for the pork schnitzel that we served with it.  I wanted something to cut through the rich, hearty schnitzel so I thought that some apple cider vinegar would be both sweet enough and acidic enough to work well to balance out the pork, while also compensating for the bitterness of some of the greens.  I briefly considered throwing in a pinch of sugar, but I decided against it because the onions and apple cider vinegar should already provide the dish with some sweetness.  I liked these greens.  Alex thought they were fine, but not amazing.  Then again, he's not a huge fan of sauteed greens.  I really like sauteed greens in theory, but I often find the greens themselves to be too bitter for me.  I thought these greens were nice because we got to experiment with the gorgeous "big mix" without being overwhelmed by the bitterness of some of the greens.  The flavors here were fresh and vibrant, with a subtle kick from the crushed red pepper flakes and the acidity from the apple cider vinegar, tempered with the richness of a tbsp of butter.  I have to admit that I stole the idea for the butter from some recipe that I stumbled across online.  It seemed like an interesting idea so I went ahead and incorporated it.

Recipe after the jump!

Sauteed Greens

2 tbsp evoo
1/2 of a medium red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lb assorted greens, stems removed if thick and thinly sliced, leaves roughly chopped
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Heat oil in a large saute pan or heavy pot (we used a large Le Creuset) over medium heat. Add onions and saute until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic. Saute, stirring often, until fragrant and softened, about 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes. Saute for one minute. If you have any stems, add them and saute for 2 minutes. Add leaves and cook, tossing often, until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in apple cider vinegar. Add butter and toss until melted. Season to taste with s&p.


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